Tonight after our ride, I had my mare tied next to her stall while finishing untacking/cooling off. I always close her stall door so she’s not tempted, but I made the mistake of worrying more about getting the saddle off so she could dry than closing it tonight. Well, after some time standing nice and quietly, she decided it was time to go home and walked into her stall while still tied to the outside. I was brushing her tail so I didn’t stop her in time, so when she was pulled back from behind her, she spooked big time, pulled HARD against the halter and reared, smacking her head on a beam. I got the knot undone quickly but I could tell by her eyes that she was seeing stars and her head was very sensitive in front of her ears.
We hung out for a bit and then I very loosely put her on cross ties when she calmed down and walked it out. I kid you not, 10 mins later, a horse fly sized bug flew in the barn and started diving at her head, so of course she pulled HARD again. I didn’t get to the knot in time before she pulled so hard the quick knot was stuck in the hook. I had to take her halter off and jog her away from the nasty bug.
I’m still so ashamed of myself and feel so horrible that she went through this TWICE in 20 minutes. My heart hurts picturing her thrashing about in fear. We have actually been working on tying quietly on the weekends along with herd-boundness and she’s been great! She’s taught herself about coming off the pressure pretty well I think. This was totally a fluke, first one being my fault 10000%.
Can anyone give advice for going about this the right way? I want to be proactive while also letting her know it was no big deal and choosing to pull is unacceptable. I’ve never had this happen and she is wonderful on the ground, however clearly there is a hole in her training.
Thanks for sticking with me this far!